- I broaden my horizon and I’m now able to see a problem from different angles

Mon 28 Mar 2022 10:46

Meet Shan Gao, an exchange PhD-student from the Beijing Jiaotong University in China, who during the pandemic been an exchange student at Mid Sweden University for a year. She tells about the biggest differents from China and what she learned during here time in Sundsvall.

Shan Gao
Shan Gao, an exchange PhD-student from the Beijing Jiaotong University.

Why did you choose to do a year as an exchange student?

- It was thanks to the China scholarship council that I got the opportunity to do one year as an exchange student abroad. I’m interested in, and doing my PhD-work within Light field imaging. So, I begun to search for researchers within this field. I read some articles written by Prof. Mårten Sjöström and his research team Realistic 3D, and thought this was a good match to my work, Shan Gao explains.

Shan Gao contacted Prof. Mårten Sjöström with a request to be visit and after an interview she got accepted as an exchange student. Shan Gao arrived to Sundsvall in April 2021, during the pandemic lockdown, and had to spend most of her time in her apartment and meet most of the other researchers online.

- This was hard, it was my first time in Sweden and it is hard to get to know everything. But I got a lot of help from my roommate and a big support from Prof. Mårten Sjöström and his research team. We have weekly online meetings in the research team and this helped a lot, says Shan.

What have you been doing as your time here?

- During my time here, I have joined a PhD course in innovative applications of research and science, I joined several of conferences and workshop and I also attended in some PhD-defenses. In my own research I have received supervision, I have done several experiments and finished a paper that got submitted in a journal, says Shan.

What are the differences between your home university in China and Mid Sweden University?

- I think the biggest differences is that in China we focus a lot of theory and basic research. Mid Sweden University cooperate with a lot of companies and got much more applied research, Shan says. 

What have you learned during your time here?

- I learned a lot! First of all, I improved my English a lot since I’m forced to speak more English. I also got new different perspectives on my research. I got input from the research team here that broaden my horizon on the light field area and I’m now able to see a problem from different angles. I have also learned to present my research to a wider audience, in a more comprehensible way and see the value of doing that, Shan explains.  

What have you done on your spare time in Sundsvall?

- I like to go shopping, hiking and grilling. I also went skiing several times. I am happy to have had the opportunity to see the northern lights! 

What are your plans now?

- I have a few weeks left here at Mid Sweden University. I got the opportunity to visit a research school in Light field imaging at Tampere University in Finland. This Research School is within the Plenoptima project and a good opportunity for me to expand my network of researchers in the field. When I get back to Beijing. I will finish my PhD and I will do my defense in October 2022. After that I haven’t planned how to continue yet, Shan Gao ends.   

The page was updated 3/28/2022